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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Kodak's New Battle Plan: Cheaper Printer Ink

The Kodak Easyshare 5300 inkjet printer

from Techdirt

"For many years we've had stories about the ridiculously high price of inkjet printer ink. It is, according to some, one of the most expensive liquids around, costing more than vintage champagne. Someone once worked out that if you filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool with printer ink bought at retail, it would cost you $5.9 billion dollars (yes, with a b)....

"Kodak is supposedly announcing new photo printers today, with the explicit focus on the fact that their ink is a hell of a lot cheaper than anyone else's. In fact, they're also promoting that the ink cartridges hold a lot more ink, so you won't have to refill as often either. In other words, they're doing what any competitor in the space should do: beating the competition by offering what customers want...."

READ ON (with links) at Techdirt

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with thanks to Kevin, and David E.

More about this from....

E-Commerce Times

USA Today

And this, the horrifying result of a behemoth corporation that's losing $600 million a year trying to be hip and fun (this is so pathetic it could slacken locked jaws):

Kodak's "Ink Is It" promotional site

(Thanks—or maybe that's the wrong word—to Richard S. for pointing this one out.)

Featured Comment by Adam McAnaney:

Re: "Ink is it."

That scarred me.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to forgive Kodak, Richard S. or TOP for leading me to that site. I am consistently amazed that 1) anyone who hears the pitch for movies/articles/ad campaigns as dumb as this one actually gives the green light to produce said movie/article/ad campaign; 2) once anyone has seen the final product, they still think it's a good idea to release it to the public.

Any chance this website is a Canon/HP/Epson counterpunch?

Excuse me, I'm going to go "print a bird to put in a cage."


Blogger Michael Simon said...

Dear Kodak,

Please don't blow this. I would like to see you stick around.

all the best,

a photographer.

ps. what's up with Kodachrome? Is it staying, or is it going?

11:23 AM  
Blogger David Emerick said...


Wilhelm tests?


12:27 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

As far as I know, the printers are consumer models, were just introduced today, and will ship later this Spring. So it's a little early for Wilhelm tests yet.

Also, bear in mind that Wilhem [allegedly--got to remember my Journo 101] hates Kodak with a deep-seated resentment that goes way, way back. So I wouldn't look to them to be falling all over themselves to test any new Kodak printers in any big hurry.

12:31 PM  
Blogger dasmb said...

Ditto. I wonder what's taken the big K so long to make a printer? They look to be on the right track -- cheap pigment ink is going to be the golden apple.

I mean, I absolutely love my new R260 (dyebase, but WHAT a dye!) and I get a lot of compliments about the prints I'm making with it. But the cost of those prints is high. Considering my local pro lab will make me lightjet 8x12s for $3 and it costs me about $3.50 to produce an injet 8x10, it wouldn't be worth it if I didn't enjoy printmaking so damn much.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Player said...

Channel surfing to CNN, I happened across a report about inkless printing using zinc paper. The tiny printer is called the Zink, to be used with camera phones, and digi cameras too. The woman touting this product said that inkless printing with zinc paper has been known about since 2000. News to me.

Could this be the solution to expensive inks?

12:49 PM  
Blogger David Emerick said...

Apparently you can only use Kodak paper (?) which happens to be very expensive.


1:13 PM  
Blogger robert e said...

Great news, if it works. Canon i550 is still my text printer. It wasn't free like other printers at the time, but it was and is dirt cheap to run, lightning-fast and prints gorgeous text and graphics...and fuzzy photos that color-shift days later.

player, the Zink is exciting, and it was a collaboration w/ Polaroid. Hmm...

For the record, Kodak has been making easy-to-use 4x6 thermal dye printers for years. Their Easyshare cameras plug right in to the top of the printer.

2:07 PM  
Blogger jon said...

Good for them.

If it's as good as it sounds i will force my boss at CW to sell these printers.

Just hope there is no catch

2:08 PM  
Blogger Player said...

robert e, thanks for the link!

Wouldn't it be great if Polaroid could make these greedy smug printer manufacturers drown in their ridiculous money-grabbing expensive inks? If Kodak could upgrade their hardware, and Polaroid offer an inkless alternative, we wouldn't need Epson, HP, or Canon. And Polaroid could be back on top! Dreams!

3:32 PM  
Blogger jim_h said...

HP, Epson and Canon have made big R&D investments in printing technology. People want the high quality prints these systems can produce so they pay the sky-high prices for ink. Can Kodak match their quality?

7:50 PM  
Blogger robert e said...

It looks like Zink will be the basis for a new generation of "instant print" cameras. Like Polaroids, except you get a digital original, can print off as many copies as you want, and each print costs .20 cents instead of $1.50... What are they thinking?!

Another thing: the pigments are activated by heat...I'm hoping that means Zink will be as fun to mess with as Polaroids.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Impasse Lebouis said...

"Also, bear in mind that Wilhem [allegedly--got to remember my Journo 101] hates Kodak with a deep-seated resentment that goes way, way back."

Hi Mike,
Don't know what you're referring to but Wilhem did show Kodak's
fade resistance measuring system for what it is: a fake.

And according to RIT, the Kodak recommended 1:19 selenium toning of silver prints was inadequate in stopping oxidation and preventing gas attack.

So, any claim Kodak makes as to fade resistance, I'll take with a grain of salt.

8:37 AM  

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